Happy New Year! I hope all your holidays were blessed and beautiful!
So, during our holiday festivities, one of the things I absolutely wanted to do was go see a movie. Any guesses which one?
If you say Star Wars: The Last Jedi … you’d be wrong. That’s my husband’s domain.
For me, the movie musical The Greatest Showman was at the very top of my list. From the moment I saw the teaser trailer, I was hooked.
To be clear, I’m a Broadway musical fan. In fact, last year for my birthday, I received season tickets to our local theater for their Broadway season. It was the best gift for me, and I have loved going once a month and losing myself in every show we’ve seen so far.
The Greatest Showman exceeded all my expectations. I have seen it twice already.
Have you seen it? If not, you should! I highly recommend it!
While many will say this story about P. T. Barnum and his beginnings is not dark or realistic enough, I say it is everything a musical story should be. It never sugar coats his intentions (not really respectable, to be sure), yet it is deep and emotional, ambitious, light, and beautiful. It stars Hugh Jackman, Zac Ephron, Zendaya, Michelle Williams, and Broadway alum Keala Settle. There is a range of themes woven together, including being true to who you are, family first, and never giving up on your dreams…and it all comes alive on the screen and in the songs. And, you walk away from the theater feeling ebullient and humming at least one of the eleven songs trapped in your subconscious.
Today, I’m sharing two videos. One is the movie trailer, and one is a video posted on The Greatest Showman Facebook page a week or so ago. It’s a video of the vocal workshop where the songs were shared with the studio. I have replayed it numerous times; each time I have finished the two minutes wiping away tears. I am drawn in by Keala and the chorus as they raise the roof with their free and raw performance.
And, I have found that, like many others, I identify so strongly with the chorus’ lyrics:
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me
Isn’t it hard sometimes to be brave? To share ourselves, our hearts with friends and family? There’s always a risk for rejection, a risk of being shut out.
Haven’t we all been bruised before, not listened to, not seen for our true selves? There’s always a risk that our thoughts and feelings won’t be accepted or validated in the world we live in daily.
It has been a great reminder to me of how truly unique God made each one of us. No matter how difficult it can be to believe in ourselves, believe in our calling, our purpose, HE LOVES US! He’s had it all planned from the beginning. He knows what it feels like to be misunderstood, mistreated, and maligned. And, as our world has changed and become broken, He knew what we would face, how we would struggle, how dark the days can feel, and yet, He called us to be a light in the darkness. He asks us to lay down our burdens, our fears, our insecurities at the foot of the cross and trust Him every minute of every hour of every day.
I hope you enjoy the songs. I hope you will go see the movie. Mostly, I hope you will remember as we start this new year that you are called to be who God made YOU to be. Loving. Strong. Brave. Feisty. Peaceful. Kind. Ambitious. Loyal. Honest. Gentle.
Your dreams are not impossible.
Your hopes and plans are not futile.
Your prayers are not going unheard.
As God says in His Word, ” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” Jeremiah 29:11
As P. T Barnum says in the movie…No One Ever Made A Difference By Being Like Everyone Else.
Happy New Year!
P.S. The full soundtrack is available here! Download it-you won’t regret it!